Motorola's CEO has apparently confirmed that the company is working on a Google-branded device, similar to the HTC-made Nexus One. Speaking as part of the company's quarterly financial results call, chief executive Sanjay Jha revealed that Motorola were indeed developing a "direct to consumer device with Google".
Google's first direct to the customer Android phone, the Nexus One, has had its image tarnished a bit with many users reporting significant 3G woes when using the handset. Both Google and T-Mobile have been investigating the issues.
Google's Nexus One has only been on sale for just over a week, and unsurprisingly the search giant aren't being especially forthcoming with sales figures quite yet. That hasn't stopped mobile application analytics company Flurry from sticking their collective neck out and estimating around 20,00 of the Android 2.1 devices had been sold, and contrasting that with first-week Motorola DROID sales of 250,000 handsets and iPhone 3GS sales of 1.6m handsets.
The Google support forums are awash with customer complaints about the newly released Nexus One smartphone. Consumers buying the device are finding that Google's level of customer support is limited to email, which is only answered in a day or two - there happens to be absolutely no direct phone support available at all. The main complaint according to Engadget appears to be owners reporting that their device either never switches to 3G, or, it is constantly switching between 3G and EDGE (and 3G coverage debate). It is reported that many of those having difficulties are so frustrated by Google’s lack of response and feedback that some are returning their phones to purchase competing models.
In an interesting piece of distancing, Verizon Wireless have been in touch to clarify exact details of the upcoming CDMA version of the Google Nexus One, which the search giant confirmed was in the works for a Spring 2010 release. According to Verizon, the Nexus One will not be offered via any Verizon websales, phone sales or stores, instead being solely distributed by Google's own webstore.
Since leaked specifications, FCC testing and hands-on evidence regarding the Google Nexus One seemingly confirmed that the Android 2.1 smartphone would only support 3G/UMTS on T-Mobile USA, those AT&T subscribers eyeing up the handset have been steadying themselves for a diet of EDGE-only data. That diet may not be quite so concrete, however; a last-minute rumor has filtered through to BGR that Google will also be offering a second, unlocked Nexus One which would support AT&T 3G bands.
With the discovery of an official car kit in the works, we're wondering quite how strong a lead in Nexus One accessories Google plan to take. The undisputed trailblazer for courting third-party accessories is Apple, and they've created a huge ecosystem around the iPhone and the iPod; so far add-ons for Android devices have been pretty much left to the whims of their respective manufacturers, but Google's newly focussed involvement might change all that. Our prediction: some sort of "made for Nexus" tagline.
Right now, Android lacks a certification program - a "Made for Android" tag, as it were - in the same manner as Apple's, and aside from the openness of the platform itself the devices that have used it generally adopt standardized connectors and adapters. True, it took HTC a few iterations to get that down-pat, but going by the leaked roadmap we saw last week they've now got fully on board with things like microUSB. As Google climb aboard the device train, however, it might make sense for them to qualify what's like to become a rush of third-party Nexus One accessories with an official seal.
Word this afternoon is that Motorola might be doing well for itself now that it’s been sold to Lenovo. As it was predicted, Motorola did not create a Nexus device for Google under its leadership for fear of creating an aura of unfair advantage - not unlike the Microsoft Surface tablet situation over the past few years. Now all that appears to have changed.
Google makes plans for devices and software well in advance of publicly announcing business ventures. It’s not out of the question to assume that any Motorola Nexus device would have been planned months in advance of their business deal with Lenovo - complete with deals in place for the transfer and contracts for when the buy was to be made. With that in mind, have a look at the evidence for a Nexus Motorola device up next.
One of the biggest drawbacks of the iPhone is the inability to pay for things via mobile. There’s no NFC capabilities in iOS, and it’s not clear if that’s on the way or not (though some believe it is). A new report suggests Apple is working with various credit card companies to hammer out a mobile payment option for future devices, and it could be the most secure method available.